Feeding Bullmastiff's

Though bullmastiffs are big dogs, they are not overly active, so they require a carefully monitored high-quality diet. Feeding your dog properly will prevent premature aging, coat problems, and serious health issues.

Non-commercial Foods

Although it's more expensive and time-consuming to prepare food for your dog at home, some owners prefer to do so. There are two main types of noncommercial diets: home cooked and raw. Before pursuing either diet, consult your vet so that the two of you can design a food plan that helps your dog get the nutrients he needs.

Never feed your bullmastiff cooked bones, as they can splinter and puncture the digestive tract.

Commercial Foods

Using commercial dog food is the easiest way to feed your bullmastiff-just open the package and pour it into the bowl.

Types of Commercial Dog Food

There are three main types of dog food: dry, semi-moist, and canned.
  • Dry food: Dry food, or kibble, is less expensive than semi-moist and canned foods of equal quality. Dogs who eat kibble usually have cleaner teeth than dogs who eat wet food because the dry bits scrape tartar from the teeth during chewing.
  • Semi-moist food: Semi-moist dog foods are essentially soft, kibble-like chunks. They tend to stick to the teeth, harboring bacteria that cause gum disease, and most of them contain dyes and chemical preservatives that your dog just doesn't need.
  • Canned food: Canned foods may be recommended for a dog with dental or medical problems or for a dog whose appetite is poor due to illness or old age. Canned food is usually more expensive than dry food and must be refrigerated once opened.

Buying Commercial Food

The number of commercial dog foods on the market is staggering. When choosing a food for your bullmastiff, always read the package carefully, including the ingredients, and consider the following factors:
  • Formula: There are specially formulated foods that are tailored to the needs of dogs of certain ages or activity levels. For example, you can find puppy formulas, active dog formulas, less active dog formulas, and senior formulas.
  • Premium vs. generic: Premium brand dog foods are more expensive than generic brands but also usually use higher-quality ingredients that are healthier and easier to digest.
  • Meats vs. meat by-products: Buy only brands that use meat, as opposed to meat by-products. The first ingredient on the ingredient list should be a specific meat, such as lamb, beef, or chicken.
  • Preservatives: Avoid foods that contain artificial preservatives, which can cause health problems. These preservatives include ethoxyquin, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA). Natural preservatives such as tocopherols (vitamin E) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) are safer.

Home-Cooked Diets

Proponents of home-cooked diets claim that their dogs have more energy, shed less, and are leaner. Home-cooked diets include mostly human-grade foods, such as low-fat cuts of meat, deboned chicken, fish, fruits and veggies, healthy grains, yogurt, and human-grade supplements.

Raw Diets

Raw diets, also called BARF (bones and raw food), usually consist of raw chicken and turkey bones; organ meats (liver, kidney, heart, brain, tongue, and tripe); eggs; some veggies; and apple cider vinegar.


Treats are an integral part of training and account for a great deal of pleasure in a bullmastiff's life. Rather than use artificial "junk food" treats, look for natural and low-calorie treats in specialty pet stores, online retailers, or even in some big pet store chains. You also can provide carrots, green beans, or freeze-dried chicken as healthy rewards.
Bullmastiff puppies eating


It's possible to improve your bullmastiff's diet with supplements, but it's just as easy to make him sick by introducing an imbalance into his diet. Always talk with your vet before giving your bullmastiff any supplements.

Feeding Schedule

Feeding your dog at scheduled mealtimes is the best way to control how much he eats, resulting in better weight control and allowing you to monitor his health. (Lack of appetite is often the first sign of illness.) Free feeding, a method in which food is left out all day, can wreak havoc on the digestive system and lead to obesity.

Rather than feed your bullmastiff each time he begs for food, stick to regular meals and an occasional treat. If you're serving commercial food, the package directions may not suit your individual dog, so talk to your vet or breeder. If you're serving noncommercial food, consult your vet.
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